Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Brigg Town v Ilkeston Saturday 17th December 2011 Evo-Stik Division One South

Grimsby Borough do not have a game today and although the Reserves are at home (although it was cancelled late on) I decide to take a look at how the newly formed Ilkeston are doing on their visit to Brigg Town. The Hawthorns is only a 22 mile drive for me and I arrive in plenty of time to get some decent pictures in the daylight.

Outside the ground is already busy as there are a fair number of Ilkeston fans here and they all seem to be heading into the Clubhouse, encouraged by the Brigg officials who tell them to drink plenty as "we need the money". I take a few photos outside the ground and head inside.

Once through the turnstiles you find yourself in the corner of the ground. To your right is the building block containing the toilets and the dressing rooms for the teams and officials. There is also a bit of overhang from the roof to give some cover.

Directly in front of you is the portacabin which is used for hospitality and beyond this a single level terracing runs down to the corner of the ground where there is a tea hut.

After the hospitality hut the ground opens out and there is a grassy area behind the hard standing which leads to the fence which has a net to stop balls going into the gardens of the houses behind the ground.

This brings you to the far side of the ground which has a seating stand which runs down a good part of the ground. There are three rows of red seats, which I have to say are probably some of the most uncomfortable seats I have sat in.

At either end of the stand there is a small area of covered terracing although they were not many takers today as the weather, although cold, did not give us any rain.

The hard standing narrows up after the stand as the floodlight here has a fencing around it but it opens up again after this to the corner. The end here is wide and open with a single level of hard standing which runs the entire end of the ground.

This leads you back to the side of the ground that I came in. The first stand you reach is a small covered terrace of three steps with a roof that comes out to the edge of the wall in front of the pitch.

The weather has changed now and the sun has gone and there are some menacing looking clouds overhead, as you can see in this shot of the seated stand across the pitch.

After the small terraced stand there is a small open area before you reach the very narrow seated stand on this side of the ground. There are only two rows of seats and there is a very narrow walkway past these as you can see below.

After this there is another open area before the buildings which house the dressing rooms with an exit which allows you access to the Clubhouse outside the ground.

Ii has taken me longer than normal to make my circuit of the ground today as I've been involved in several discussions with both Brigg and Ilkeston fans on my way round and it is very close to kick off. There are not many Ilkeston fans inside yet, but almost as soon as I've thought this they start to appear and soon make themselves heard.

The Ilson fans quickly make their way to the end their team will be attacking in the first half and an array of flags are put up.

The game kicked off and both teams were playing some nice football early on but without creating any clear cut goal opportunities. It was end to end stuff with both sides struggling to find that edge to beat the others keeper. Probably the best chance of the half fell to Ilson's Gary Ricketts but his shot flew well over the bar. An entertaining half came to a close without any score.

Ilkeston took over the game in the second half and it was mostly one way traffic towards the Brigg goal. The problem for Ilkeston was a combination of some poor finishing and resolute Brigg defending meant they were unable to open the scoring. Brigg went forward when they could but the final ball was always disappointing and they too struggle in front of goal. There were Ilson claims for a penalty when Maguire burst into the box and went down under a challenge from a Brigg defender. However the referee felt that he had dived and dished out a booking. I have to say that I thought it was a clear penalty especially as he was clear to have a shot and could not see why he would go down in that situation.

As in so many games like this, it was the team under the cosh who scored the opening goal. Brigg's Liam Davis raced down the right hand touchline, beat his man and placed an inviting ball into the path of Ryan Paczkowski who hit his shot into the back of the net from about 10 yards out. The Ilson fans around me seemed stunned and could not believe they had gone behind. Ilkeston went straight back onto the attack and four minutes later they were level. A neat move saw the ball come out to the left wing from where it was played inside to Jack Watts who drilled his shot into the net. The game ebbed and flowed for the remaining time but neither team could find the decisive blow and the full time whistle went with the final score at 1-1.
This was a thoroughly entertaining game and I was glad I made the choice to come here.

Programme cover

More pictures of The Hawthorns here.

There are more pictures of the ground, action and the fans here.

Brigg Town 1-1 Ilkeston
Att: 143
Admission: £7
Programme: £1.50

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